Lotto manipulation claims raised anew amid report of bettor winning 20 times in a month

March 13, 2024 - 12:23 PM
Individuals bought lotto tickets at a lotto outlet in Quezon City on Sunday (September 2, 2022). (The STAR/Michael Varcas)

Filipinos online raised speculations of possible manipulation in lotto winners following reports of a lone better who won 20 times in a month.

On Tuesday, Sen. Raffy Tulfo bared that a single bettor won 20 times in one month, based on a list of winners submitted by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to the Senate.

“Bakit tuwing draw, may nananalo na? Ngayon, walang mintis. Samantalang nu’ng panahon na wala pa tong e-lotto, ang tagal bago panalunan,” Tulfo who leads the PCSO Senate probe said in an interview.

PCSO was mired in controversies since late last year following the viral edited photo of a prize claimant, and with the seemingly frequent lotto winners that raised eyebrows.

There was also a minor glitch in its 3-digit draw in February, which PCSO admitted is true, but clarified was an isolated incident.

READ: ‘Dapat live lahat’: PCSO urged to live stream draws after minor glitch

On March 9, another lone bettor bagged P14.6 million from the 6/42 draw on March 9.

Content creator Fonzi shared this news on Facebook and quipped about it. His post garnered 2,200 social media users likes. 

Some did not take light of the issues hounding the PCSO. 

A Filipino said that these incidents, if proven fraudulent, robbed ordinary Filipinos’ dreams.

“Some people pin their hopes in winning the lottery. Tapos pati pangarap ng ordinaryong Pilipino nanakawin rin,” an X user (formerly Twitter) commented on a report.

A Facebook user, on the other hand, argued that a 20-time winner could be possible in the lower-stake bets.

“Actually possible ‘to. Hindi naman nasabi na jackpot ang napanalunan eh, malay mo taya niya lucky pick or 12 numbers. Same exact winning talaga ‘yun. For example natumbukan mo 4 numbers, siyempre may winning ‘yun. Everyday [siya] tumatay kaya almost 20 times [siya] nanalo,” he shared.

Another Pinoy online expressed the need to analyze the irregularities to put the speculations to rest.

“Anak siguro ng diyos ito. But seriously, until there isn’t an independent audit to zero in on irregularities, we cannot just accept that this is pure luck. Allegations of manipulation will persist,” an online user wrote.

PCSO has since clarified that the 20-time single bettor was not of jackpot-bearing games.

They also explained that the single name in the list Tulfo pointed out was not necessarily a winner.

“I am sure he [Tulfo] is referring to the number of claimants. A person can be a claimant but not necessarily a winner,” PCSO General Manager Mel Robles said.

Robles also stated that winners sometimes claim prizes through agents, as opposed to a widely known rule that tickets are not transferable.

The Senate is still conducting inquiry into the integrity and trustworthiness of PCSO lotto games.